An Answer

Quinn has had an on and off lameness for a bit over a year now. His most consistent symptoms were being off in the hind end RH>LH, inability to hold either canter lead, and an odd stance when standing in his stall where he would alternate putting all of his weight onto one hind leg while resting the other way out to the side of his body. We would also have periodic bouts of explosions where he would buck, kick out and bolt when working for no apparent reason. The severity of all of these symptoms would range wildly from barely visible to clearly off but have never gotten completely better. While he doesn’t look very off in the video above all together, if you isolate the right hind and watch closely how it moves you can see that it doesn’t have the same range of motion that the left hind does. He doesn’t flex or extend the leg completely and the foot kind of paddles towards the outside of his body rather than following in the tracks of his front feet. Don’t worry if you didn’t see it, last year I could tell something was wrong with the way his hind legs moved but it took a long time to understand what I was seeing (a surgeon touted as one of the best lameness vets in the country also couldn’t see it when he looked at Quinn two months ago but that’s another story).

When this first started I did a lot of research and was pretty sure we were dealing with a proximal suspensory injury (what Q was eventually diagnosed with last year) or some sort of SI issue or maybe both. Every body worker commented that Q was sore in his SI area and a lot of people I mentioned it to (including Mr Best in the Country mentioned above) dismissed it as just something “people say because there’s no way to prove it”. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s legit.

The vet we saw yesterday (who I am absolutely convinced is actually one of the best in the country if not the world) watched my horse jog once, did a quick neuro check and then took two fingers and pressed down over Qs SI region and about dropped him to the ground. Bingo. We did some blocks to the right hind just to be completely sure there wasn’t any issue there since that’s the leg we’ve seen the issue manifest the most and once we determined there wasn’t, made the decision to inject both SI joints with a steroid cocktail. Because this has been going on for so long now and we don’t know what the extent of the original injury was (and the ability to image this area of the body is woefully inadequate), there’s no guarantee that this will work or if it does for how long. It’s possible this is the only time we’ll ever have to do it and it’s possible in a couple months he could deteriorate again. We should know pretty quickly if there’s any effect at all.

I’m frustrated that it took so long for someone to take me seriously but I’m thankful to finally have a definitive answer so I can make appropriate decisions. I’m grateful that even though this process has been soul crushing that I’ve gained the knowledge to be able to properly advocate for my animal if I’m ever in this situation again. I believed in this horse from the moment I laid eyes on him, he’s changed me for the better, and whatever these next few weeks bring I’m grateful for the time he’s been in my life and hopeful that we’ll get to continue our journey.